So, a few weeks back I mentioned that I had this rash on my face. It sucks. It’s itchy, it burns sometimes, and let’s face it, I look like an awkward teenager again. The awkward teenager look is okay on teenagers, but no one should have to live through it twice. That’s just cruel.
Anyway, I got this rash and I went to the doctor, and he immediately said, “Do you have a family history of Lupus?” I said no, to which he replied, “Really?!?” Then he asked me about some other symptoms I may be having. He ran through a list of them.
- Are you experiencing fatigue?
- Do you have any soreness in your joints or hands?
- Are your muscles achy?
- Do you ever feel confused?
- Do you find you’re ever short of breath?
Of course, I answered “yes” to all of the above. As would any mother of three toddlers. Let’s look at that list again, paired with possible causes.
- Are you experiencing fatigue? Could be Lupus, could be that I haven’t slept through the night in almost five years.
- Do you have any soreness in your joints or hands? Could be Lupus, could be the 9000 sippy cup lids I’ve screwed on lately.
- Are your muscles achy? Could be Lupus, could be the fact that I almost constantly have a 20-35 pound child in my arms or climbing on me.
- Do you ever feel confused? Could be Lupus, could be that I have no idea what I’m doing.
- Do you find you’re ever short of breath? Could be Lupus, could be that I am constantly in motion (usually a chasing motion.)
Just a quick FYI, Doc. When you’re patient tells you that she has been pregnant 3 times in the past 4 years, you can pretty much just keep the questions to yourself. Because she will answer “yes” to all of them unless you ask if she bathes regularly.
Anyway, I had to get some blood work done, and then I had to wait a week for the results. During that time, I googled the crap out of Lupus, and of course convinced myself that I would die a horrible and painful death as a result. I started seeing every picture of my family as part of a slideshow they’d watch after I was gone. Like one of those damn P&G Olympics commercials that make me cry every single time.
Don’t watch that if you tear-up easily.
But then something else happened.
I suddenly got really okay with it. And I really looked at each of my kids and I felt like I truly saw them. Not the snot-covered little dirt magnets that are constantly asking me for stuff. Not the little bumbies that are constantly pushing my boundaries to see how far they can get. Not the disgusting dinner mates I’ve had since they started feeding themselves.
I really saw them, and how beautiful my life is. Those kids are the sweetest, smartest, most curious, hilarious, amazing little people in the whole world. And every second that I get to spend with them is such a gift. When you put a possible end to that timeline you have with them, the absolute glory of every, single, precious second is revealed. The laundry pile doesn’t seem so big. The constant barrage of requests seems more like an opportunity to show them that I love them, and less like a pain in the ass.
I saw the support of my friends and family. I saw for the first time, all that I have done with the little time I’ve been allotted. And I felt really good about it all. My life isn’t perfect, but before the real possibility of maybe losing it presented itself, I don’t think I ever saw what was really there.
I also mentioned how all of our photos took on the look of a slideshow that would be played in memory of me. And I realized, I’m not in half of them! Note to self (and all other moms): Get in front of the camera more!
So, I went for my results today. I don’t have Lupus. I do still have a rash and I got a prescription for that. But the most important prescription I got was to RELAX, take it easy and to see the forest, not just the trees.
All of these things that I do to try to support my family…the blog, the Farmer’s Market, and constantly looking for little ways to make some money from home…they’re only distracting me from the whole reason I want to be at home. It’s all taking away from my time, patience and ability to just enjoy my family…and it’s not worth it.
So maybe my bake stand won’t always be so full. And maybe I won’t be updating my blog every 10 minutes. And maybe we’ll fall even farther into the red as a result. But I would rather be patiently answering my kids kazillion questions, and have the time to hear every single “I love you mom,” or “You’re the best mom” in the red, then to not have time to enjoy the very reason I’m trying to get back into the black.
So yeah. I’m not going to die a horrible, painful, Lupus related death. But who knows how long I’ve got? Maybe I’ll be the first 170 year old lady (please don’t let that be the case) or maybe tomorrow will be my last day. But every day between now and then is a blessing and I have to remember that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go yell at those little brats to quit fooling around and go to sleep.
Thanks for listening,